Twitter Revenues From Top Advertisers Plummets – Report

More bad news for Twitter’s beleaguered finances after new data revealed more worrying news on the advertising front.

Advertising of course is Twitter’s main source of revenue, accounting for 90 percent of its $5.1bn turnover in 2021.

But new data has revealed that despite Twitter offering a Super Bowl fire sale for advertisers, more than half of Twitter’s top 1,000 advertisers in September were no longer spending on the platform in the first weeks of January.

Advertising spend

This according to data provided to CNN by digital marketing analysis firm Pathmatics by Sensor Tower, and once again confirms how far reaching the advertiser exodus has been following Elon Musk’s acquisition of the company.

Last month it was reported that Twitter was seeking to woo big name brand names back to the platform by touting free ad space. This was reportedly done by offering to match advertisers’ ad spending up to $250,000.

It has been previously reported that Twitter is confronting a revenue crisis, after advertisers including General Motors and Pfizer, paused spending amid fears of a rise in divisive content on the platform, after Musk’s botched relaunch of Twitter’s subscription service.

That said, some advertisers have reportedly reinstated their advertising spend on the platform.

But research firm Pathmatics has previously noted that about 70 percent of Twitter’s top 100 advertising clients were not spending on the platform as of mid-December.

Now the Pathmatics data (running through 25 January) and reviewed by CNN revealed that some 625 of the top 1,000 Twitter advertisers, including major brands such as Coca-Cola, Unilever, Jeep, Wells Fargo and Merck, had pulled their ad dollars as of January.

Wells Fargo reportedly said it “paused our paid advertising on Twitter” but continues to use it as a social channel to engage with customers.

The other brands did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNN.

Revenue crisis?

As a result of the advertising decline, monthly revenue from Twitter’s top 1,000 advertisers plummeted by more than 60 percent from October through 25 January, from around $127 million to just over $48 million, according to the data.

The data demonstrate the sharp decline of what was once a $4.5 billion advertising business for Twitter.

Last month a senior manager at Twitter told the remaining staff that the company’s daily revenue on Tuesday 17 January was 40 percent lower than the same day a year ago.

Siddharth Rao, an engineering manager overseeing the engineers working on Twitter’s ad business, also reportedly told staff in a presentation that more than 500 of Twitter’s top advertisers have paused spending on Twitter since Elon Musk took over in late October.

In early November, Musk said Twitter had seen a “massive revenue drop” and he raised the possibility of the platform going bankrupt during his first mass email with the platform’s remaining staff.

Superbowl fire sale

Meanwhile CNN reported that Musk continues to woo advertisers back to the platform, after it reportedly offered a Super Bowl “fire sale” deal for advertisers in an attempt to win them back for one of Twitter’s biggest audience days of the year.

Twitter has also partnered with a third-party “brand safety” firm that says it can show advertisers if their ads appear alongside inappropriate or unsafe content on Twitter.

Last week Alphabet’s Google, Meta Platforms, Microsoft, Twitter and TikTok presented their baseline reports on their compliance with a beefed up European Union (EU) code of practice on tackling disinformation in the last six months.

The reports included data on how much advertising revenue the companies had averted from disinformation actors, the number or value of political advertisements accepted or rejected, and instances of manipulative behaviours detected.

The European Commission singled out Twitter for not demonstrating a serious commitment to the EU code of practice and for not providing the needed data.

“I am disappointed to see that Twitter report lags behind others and I expect a more serious commitment to their obligations stemming from the Code,” Commission VP for Values and Transparency Věra Jourová noted last week. “Russia is engaged also in a full-blown disinformation war and the platforms need to live up to their responsibilities.”

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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